Have you ever stopped to consider how you imagine the tone of God’s voice to be? My church, C3 NYC, raised this question last Sunday as part of their series on God the Father. The sermon pointed out that, sadly, many people struggle to imagine God as a loving Father and instead envision Him as a harsh voice of authority. As a result, most people tend to avoid God in the very times when they need Him most. The truth is, God sent His son Jesus not only to save us from sins but to help us understand His nature. Jesus confirmed this in John 14:7, saying, “If you really know me, you will know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him."
Jesus was speaking to His disciples in this verse, but His words apply to ALL of His followers. The disciples had daily face-to-face interactions with Jesus, so they would have “really known” Jesus, and thus, the Father’s nature. But for those of us who have not yet seen Jesus face to face, we can be more vulnerable to lies that the enemy would have us believe about Him. These five lies can be detrimental to our view of God, and in turn, the outcome of our lives:
Lie 1: God can’t understand or relate to our human nature
Wrong! Hebrews 4:15 teaches that “we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are -- yet did not sin.” It’s hard to imagine that God would voluntarily reduce Himself to our human state, subjecting Himself to all of the same pain, frustration and hardships we face, but He DID through Jesus. Jesus experienced every type of temptation we face and yet did not sin. He lived a perfect life because He knew we never could. That’s why we should never believe this second lie:
Lie 2: God wants to control you with harsh, restrictive rules
I won’t lie and say the rules God tells us to live by are always easy to follow. Of course they’re not! When humans fell to sin, God’s perfect design for us was corrupted and our human nature became disobedient and rebellious, which is why at times God’s instructions for us can feel “unnatural.” Despite these feelings, God’s design for our lives will always bring more fruit than the alternatives that tempt us. Satan wants to keep us trapped in lifestyles that will leave us feeling isolated and empty, but Jesus revealed to us, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full” (John 10:10). It can be difficult to accept this if you’ve been living in a third lie:
Lie 3: Your way is better than God’s way
This mindset is a cunning craft used by the enemy, hiding in our subconscious while we mask it with phrases like, “I’ll try it God’s way when I’m done having fun” or “I’m just too busy to make time for God.” The list of excuses goes on, but what it really boils down to is the acceptance of our sinful habits as the normal, and even preferred, state of being. People can get so comfortable in the darkness, they believe it’s where they belong. But God created all of us to live in the light that only Jesus can provide. He reminded us, “You are all children of the light and children of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness” (1 Thessalonians 5:5). We must accept we are God’s children, and stop avoiding Him as a result of accepting this lie:
Lie 4: God is so disappointed by your failures that He could never forgive you
No matter what you have done or how many times you think you’ve “failed” God, He will never stop loving you, because God loves us totally unconditionally from the day we are born until the day we die. He tells us in Romans 5:8 “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Unfortunately, rather than accepting this as truth, our minds often replay our past mistakes and we get stuck on the fifth lie:
Lie 5. You can never change
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” (2 Corinthians 5:17). God sent Jesus to die for our sins so that we may all walk in freedom and one day live face-to-face with Him again, just as He created us. As Christians, we have to stop letting our misperceptions of God and our identity in Him hinder us from moving forward to fulfill our God-given purposes.
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